Swimmers to commemorate Alcatraz escape
Las Isla de Alcatraz
By Elizabeth Daley
June 11, 2007
Three open water swimmers today will attempt what was once thought
impossible: swimming away from Alcatraz.
Swimmers Gary Emich, Steven Hurwitz and Pedro Ordenes will commemorate
the 45th anniversary of the infamous 1962 Alcatraz escape orchestrated
by Frank Lee Morris and Anglin brothers John William and Clarence
by swimming to Alcatraz, then to Aquatic Point, according to the
South End Rowing Club.
The swimmers will enter the water at 10 a.m. at the South End
Rowing Club located at 500 Jefferson St. and swim two miles in
currents that can exceed 7 mph, with waves as high as four feet.
Water temperatures may be as low 46 degrees, and none of the swimmers
will wear a wetsuit, according to the rowing club.
The fate of Alcatraz escapees Morris and the Anglins has been
the subject of much speculation, spawning numerous movies and
books. According to the FBI, on the morning of June 12, 1962,
guards at Alcatraz Prison discovered Morris and the Anglins were
missing from their cells. The three had made dummies and placed
them in their bunks, escaping from the island through enlarged
vent holes burrowed in the walls and fleeing the prison in a makeshift
raft made from rubber raincoats.
Although the FBI conducted an exhaustive investigation, no evidence
was ever found to prove that the three escaped convicts ever reached
the shore. Authorities presume Morris and both Anglins died, however
their bodies were never recovered.
The three seasoned swimmers attempting today's "escape"
have already swum the route 499 times. They will be followed by
a media boat, leaving little speculation as to their fate.
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